ABC News’ Sunlen Miller reports: Sen. Barack Obama said Hillary Clinton has done him a favor with the tough campaign she’s waged against him for the Democratic presidential nomination — but was it a joke? He said it during an interview with "The Daily Show" before a campaign event in Pittsburgh this evening.
Obama called the race in Pennsylvania a "mad dash" and downplayed expectations for the primaryon Tuesday: "We started off 20 down. The polls are now showing us 6 to 8. We’re just kinda creeping along."
Jon Stewart asked Obama about Clinton’s assertion that he has not been properly vetted over the course of the campaign, and if he believes that will be a problem for him should he win the nomination and run against John McCain.
"Well, there’s no doubt that Sen. Clinton has done me a favor. She’s put me through the paces," Obama retorted with a laugh. "This has been like spring training, so should I get the nomination, I think everything is going to be old news by October."
Stewart joked to Obama if he should win the nomination, and then the general election, would he be concerned that Sen. Clinton would still be tying to continue the campaign.
Obama didn’t quite take the bait on that one and answered with a stump-speech line.
"She is a formidable candidate," he said. "She is tough -– she’s working hard out there and I respect her for it. I think hopefully I’ll be a stronger nominee as a consequence of it."
Touching on the controversies that Obama has faced over the course of the campaign, Stewart asked Obama if Americans should expect a "bait and switch" and if he’s really planning to "enslave the white race."
And with one last jab at Wednesday night’s debate Obama shot back, "That is not our plan Jon, but I think your paranoia might make you a suitable moderator."
This was Obama’s third appearance on "The Daily Show."